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Phelps signs with new swimsuit company, Aqua Sphere, after long ties to Speedo

In this July 31, 2014 photo, Michael Phelps, left, is measured in a prototype swimsuit before a training session at Meadowbrook Aquatic and Fitness Center in Baltimore. After partnering with Speedo through most of his swimming career, Phelps has agreed to a new deal with Aqua Sphere. The company is a newcomer to competitive swimming, but is already designing a racing suit that Phelps can begin wearing on Jan. 1. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

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In this July 31, 2014 photo, Michael Phelps, left, is measured in a prototype swimsuit before a training session at Meadowbrook Aquatic and Fitness Center in Baltimore. After partnering with Speedo through most of his swimming career, Phelps has agreed to a new deal with Aqua Sphere. The company is a newcomer to competitive swimming, but is already designing a racing suit that Phelps can begin wearing on Jan. 1. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

BALTIMORE - After partnering with Speedo through most of his swimming career, Michael Phelps has agreed to a new deal with Aqua Sphere.

The company is a newcomer to competitive swimming, but is already designing a racing suit that Phelps can begin wearing on Jan. 1. The deal is a huge coup for Aqua Sphere as it tries to gain a foothold alongside companies such as Arena, Speedo and Tyr.

Phelps and his coach, Bob Bowman, will be working with Aqua Sphere on a range of products beyond racing suits, hoping to lure more kids into swimming and reduce the number of drowning deaths. Phelps tells The Associated Press "this is an exciting part of my career that I've never been able to experience before."

The deal will officially be announced Tuesday.

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